French manufacturer Renault has announced its first large-scale pilot into reversible electric charging, kicking off in the Netherlands and Portugal.
In a statement released this week, the company says: "Our alternating-current technology has the particularity of placing the reversible charger inside vehicles, so it just requires a simple, inexpensive adaptation of the existing charging terminals".
The pilot programs will first launch in Utrecht in the Netherlands, and Porto Santo Island in Portugal this week. Further trials are scheduled to roll out in France, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden and Denmark.
For those unfamiliar with the idea of vehicle-to-grid charging, Renault describes it as the following:
Vehicle-to-grid charging—also called reversible charging—modulates the charging and discharging of electric-vehicle batteries in accordance with users’ needs and the grid’s supply of available electricity. Charging reaches its maximum level when the electricity supply exceeds demand, notably during peaks in production of renewable energy. But vehicles are also capable of injecting electricity into the grid during peaks in consumption.Electric vehicles can therefore serve as units of temporary energy storage and become key drivers in the development of renewable energy. In this way, the electricity grid optimizes the supply of local renewable energy and reduces infrastructure costs. At the same time, customers enjoy greener, more economical consumption of electricity and are financially rewarded for serving the electricity grid.
The French manufacturer says its pilot will lay the groundwork for its future vehicle-to-grid offerings, including underlining the technical and economic advantages of the technology, and establishing common standards to facilitate an industrial-scale rollout.
Renault also says the program will help it assess the "value of services produced for the local and national electricity grid" like encouraging the use of solar and wind energy, reducing infrastructure costs, and working on the legal framework of a mobile-energy-storage scheme.